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Oklahoma Sooners Football Preseason Predictions: Will the Sooners win a fifth consecutive Big 12 Championship in 2019?

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Our staff answers plenty of questions about the upcoming season.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

IT’S (almost) FOOTBALL TIIIIIIIIIIIIIME IN OKLAHOMAAAAAAA, which means it’s time to start preparing yourselves for the season and all that it entails. Are your tailgating plans in place for Sunday? Is your liver in tip-top shape? Do you have a system for battling the hangovers prior to the (eventual) early kickoffs? There truly is a lot to consider.

This also means it’s time for us to give you our predictions for the 2019 season. In 2018, our panel of “experts” made some terrible predictions, so feel more than free to disregard everything in this post.

So... will the Sooners reach the College Football Playoff for a fourth time in five seasons? Will Jalen Hurts be able to lead Lincoln Riley’s offense without (for the most part) missing a beat? Will the new-look offensive line be able to gel in time for the annual matchup at Fair Park? Finally... will Alex Grinch’s defense make enough strides to make the Sooners a legitimate contender? There are obviously a ton of variables at play, but OU is still the most talented team in the Big 12 and seems capable of making another deep run.

Without further ado, here are our preseason predictions for the Oklahoma Sooners and the Big 12 Conference:

Jack Shields (@jlarryshields)

Regular Season: 11-1 (loss at Baylor)

Big 12 Standings

  1. Oklahoma (8-1)
  2. Iowa State (7-2)
  3. Texas (7-2)
  4. Baylor (6-3)
  5. Oklahoma State (5-4)
  6. TCU (5-4)
  7. Texas Tech (4-5)
  8. West Virginia (2-7)
  9. Kansas State (1-8)
  10. Kansas (0-9)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Iowa State

How will the season go? At both East Carolina and Oklahoma, Lincoln Riley has always been superb when it comes to adjusting his offensive scheme to fit his personnel, which typically entails accentuating his quarterback’s strengths while masking any shortcomings. Jalen Hurts doesn’t have the arm talent of a Baker Mayfield or a Kyler Murray (very few do), but he is absolutely going to be a problem for opposing defenses when he ends up toting the rock. When combining all of that with the surrounding personnel, his dedication to improvement, his leadership on (and off) the field and the fact that he is still a very capable thrower of the football, the Riley/Hurts partnership should be a major success.

As far as the offensive line is concerned, you’ll undoubtedly see some early growing pains. Having said that, it’ll come down to whether or not the group is able to gel by the time OU-Texas rolls around. Simply from a talent standpoint, the guys they’re trotting out have the potential to contend for another Joe Moore Award. For OU, it’s a matter of unlocking said potential, and who better to get the job done than Bill Bedenbaugh?

Defensively, it’s not quite reasonable to expect a seismic shift in Year 1 of Alex Grinch’s tenure. However, an ability to do the little things — effective tackling, making plays on the ball, being assignment-sound — on a more consistent basis should help this group to at least come close to being a competent unit.

I think Oklahoma will pull away late in the season opener against Houston, securing a double-digit win. After getting a good look at some of the younger players against South Dakota, Oklahoma will comfortably secure a win at UCLA without necessarily wowing the audience. Victories over Texas Tech and Kansas will precede the matchup in Dallas, with Oklahoma topping Texas and Sam Ehlinger in an instant classic. Down the closing stretch, I predict that OU will best Iowa State in Norman and stumble in Waco before putting together impressive showings against TCU (Norman) and Oklahoma State (Stillwater).

Bold Prediction: Freshman wide receiver Trejan Bridges finishes second on the team in both receptions and receiving yards, trailing only CeeDee Lamb in each category.

Team Leaders

Rushing Yards: Kennedy Brooks

Receiving Yards: CeeDee Lamb

Tackles: Kenneth Murray

Sacks: Ronnie Perkins

Interceptions: Patrick Fields

CFP Prediction: No. 1 Clemson over No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 2 Alabama over No. 3 Washington. Clemson overcomes Alabama in a much closer contest than was the case in last seasons’ matchup.

Heisman Prediction: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

First Head Coach Fired: Bob Davie, New Mexico

Miscellaneous Prediction: The lead-up to this year’s game against Texas will be as heated as any we’ve seen this decade, with Sam Ehlinger unsuccessfully attempting to play the role of Baker Mayfield at the podium and on Twitter.

BONUS - Favorite Tailgate Food and Drink: Pork butt on King’s Hawaiian with Head Country BBQ sauce, Tito’s & soda


Allen Kenney (@BlatantHomerism)

Regular Season: 11-1 (loss at Oklahoma State)

Big 12 Standings

  1. Oklahoma (8-1)
  2. TCU (7-2)
  3. Texas (6-3)
  4. Oklahoma State (6-3)
  5. Baylor (5-4)
  6. Iowa State (5-4)
  7. Texas Tech (4-5)
  8. Kansas State (2-7)
  9. West Virginia (2-7)
  10. Kansas (0-9)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over TCU

How Will the Season Go? The Sooners will start the year with a win over Houston, showing no real signs of slowing down on offense and an improved capacity for making opponents actually work to score points. Some of the limitations of new quarterback Jalen Hurts will become more readily apparent two weeks later against UCLA, but it won’t keep OU from holding on for a 10-point win at the Rose Bowl. The Sooners will breeze through Big 12 games versus Texas Tech and Kansas before their showdown with Texas. OU will tough out a win over the banged-up Longhorns and cruise through the rest of October. A hellish November will probably bring one loss with it, most likely to the Cowboys in the final week of the regular season. That won’t stop OU from bouncing back in the Big 12 title game against TCU and claiming a fifth straight conference championship. The season ends with a loss to No. 1 Alabama again, this time in Atlanta.

Bold Prediction: Alex Grinch’s work in his first season as defensive coordinator will make him a candidate for head coaching jobs on the Group of Five level in December. He will shut that down quickly after receiving assurances of a raise from Joe Castiglione.

Team Leaders

Rushing Yards: Trey Sermon

Receiving Yards: CeeDee Lamb

Tackles: Kenneth Murray

Sacks: Ronnie Perkins

Interceptions: Patrick Fields

CFP Prediction: Alabama over Clemson

Nick Saban jettisoned some dead weight from his coaching staff in the offseason, and the Crimson Tide still have the best roster in college football. Bama gets revenge in its fifth postseason meeting with the Tigers.

Heisman Prediction: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

First Head Coach Fired: Chris Ash, Rutgers

Miscellaneous Prediction: Somehow it will be Mike Stoops’ fault.

BONUS - Favorite Tailgate Food and Drink: Bacon Explosion and Coors Banquet.


Seth Oliveras (@SethOliveras)

Regular Season: 11-1 (loss at Baylor)

Big 12 Standings

  1. Oklahoma (8-1)
  2. Iowa State (7-2)
  3. TCU (6-3)
  4. Texas (6-3)
  5. Baylor (6-3)
  6. Oklahoma State (5-4)
  7. Texas Tech (3-6)
  8. Kansas (2-7)
  9. Kansas State (1-8)
  10. West Virginia (1-8)

Big 12 Championships: Oklahoma over Iowa State

How will the season go? After winning big in the opener versus Houston, Oklahoma will cruise right along until the annual showdown against Texas, who will prove to be a tough out once again. However, this time the Sooners will reclaim the Golden Hat and will be one of a few remaining unbeatens. Things won’t get too scary again until Iowa State comes to Norman. College GameDay will be there for the top 15 matchup, and ultimately it’ll be a hard fought victory in favor of the Crimson & Cream. After the hot 9-0 start, OU will trip up in Waco, prompting the Baylor fans to storm the field. Oklahoma will right the ship to close out the season, rematch ISU and win a fifth straight Big 12 Championship.

Bold Prediction: Jalen Hurts will lead the Big 12 in passing efficiency. Reasons -- he’s thrown just one interception in his last 334 attempts as a starter, and I expect his career average of less than 8 yards per pass to increase this fall.

Team Leaders

Rushing yards: Kennedy Brooks

Receiving yards: CeeDee Lamb

Tackles: Kenneth Murray

Sacks: Ronnie Perkins

Interceptions: Brendan Radley-Hiles

CFP Prediction: Fourth time’s the charm as Oklahoma returns to the playoff and defeats Alabama in a semifinal rematch. Clemson thumps Michigan before beating the Sooners in a close one to repeat as champs.

Heisman Prediction: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Miscellaneous Prediction: Texas A&M will finish 2019 with 5 losses and will still be ranked in the final AP top 25 poll.

First Head Coach Fired: Clay Helton, USC. He won’t make it to the end of the season. Bank on it.

BONUS - Favorite Tailgate Food and Drink: I don’t get to tailgate, but I love watching the game with some homemade tacos and an ice cold Jarritos. Shout out to my mom for the hook-up!


Kamiar Mehrabian (@KMehrabianCCM)

Regular Season: 10-2 (losses vs. Texas, at Oklahoma State)

Big 12 Standings

  1. Texas (8-1)
  2. Oklahoma (7-2)
  3. Oklahoma State (6-3)
  4. Iowa State (6-3)
  5. Baylor (5-4)
  6. TCU (5-4)
  7. Kansas State (3-6)
  8. West Virginia (3-6)
  9. Texas Tech (2-7)
  10. Kansas (0-9)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Texas

How will the season go? Oklahoma’s defense will be noticeably better, but that’s easy to see when they were the most awful unit in the Big XII last year. Oklahoma will get behind the chains a bit in a couple of messy games in Dallas and Stillwater and not be able to mount comebacks without the services of Kyler or Baker-- Jalen is a different QB and if his team is behind by two scores, it will be a big issue. Oklahoma still gets into the CCG and instead of winning for the fifth straight year, they get downed and end up in a bowl game that isn’t in the NY6. Oklahoma gets a scare vs Houston in a shootout, stomps South Dakota and plays well against UCLA in the Rose Bowl. The Sooners have a hiccup against tech but make it out with a win and torch Kansas while nursing some injuries before losing to the longhorns by two scores. Post RRR, the Sooners run through opponents of the likes of West Virginia, Kansas State, Iowa State, and get snagged at Baylor for a tough game in Waco. Riley gets the guys to beat TCU by three scores before getting down early in a game vs the Cowboys that they are unable to keep up with in a shootout.

Bold Prediction: The Sooners force 26 turnovers during the season, doubling their output from 2018-19.

Team Leaders

Rushing Yards: Trey Sermon

Receiving Yards: Cedarian Lamb

Tackles: Kenneth Murray

Sacks: John Michael Terry

Interceptions: Tre Brown

CFP Prediction:

Georgia v Washington

Clemson v Alabama

Winner: Clemson

Alabama doesn’t win the conference but still sneaks in to lose in the semifinal to the eventual champ — the Clemson Tigers.

Heisman Prediction: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Miscellaneous Prediction: Tate Martell transfers again.

First Head Coach fired: Jim Harbaugh SUCKS

BONUS - Favorite Tailgate Drink and Food: I’m a simple dude. Give me a bratwurst and a Stella. Maybe a coke.


Austin Brown (@AustinOBrown)

Regular Season: 12-0

Big 12 Standings

  1. OU (9-0)
  2. Iowa State (6-3)
  3. Baylor (6-3)
  4. Texas (6-3)
  5. West Virginia (4-5)
  6. Texas Tech (4-5)
  7. TCU (3-6)
  8. Oklahoma State (3-6)
  9. Kansas (2-7)
  10. Kansas State (2-7)

Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma over Iowa State

How will the season go? This is the first year I’ve ever picked OU to run the table. This schedule is just too favorable to find a loss, and it’s a down year for most of the Big 12. Texas, Iowa State, and Baylor are the only games I could see as potential letdowns.

If Jalen Hurts plays like Jalen Hurts and Alex Grinch can get the defense to even an average level of play, I think this could be the best Oklahoma team in a long time.

Elsewhere in the Big 12, I am buying stock in Baylor and Iowa State and selling HARD on TCU — whose starting QB wasn’t good enough to play at Kansas State — and Oklahoma State (more on them later).

Baylor has an extremely favorable schedule as well with Oklahoma and Texas both coming to Waco. If they can win one of those games, the Bears could be a dark horse contender to make the Big 12 title game.

Kansas State will be very bad.

Team Leaders

Rushing yards: Kennedy Brooks

Receiving yards: CeeDee Lamb

Tackles: Kenneth Murray

Sacks: Neville Gallimore

Interceptions: Bookie

CFP Prediction

(1) Clemson vs. (4) Utah

(2) Alabama vs. (3) Oklahoma

Championship: Clemson over Oklahoma

The committee will bend over backwards to make Jalen Hurts vs. Alabama happen if both teams are remotely in the playoff conversation. The Big Ten cannibalizes itself and Utah backdoors it’s way into the playoff where it promptly gets curb-stomped by Clemson. Ohio State fans are mad online.

Heisman Prediction: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

Miscellaneous Prediction: Kansas wins the Sunflower Showdown and doesn’t finish last in the Big 12 for the first time since 2014.

First Head Coach Fired (Editor’s Note: This is impressively absurd, but I’ll allow it)

Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

I’m going to walk you through a not impossible scenario for Oklahoma State’s 2019 football season.

The Pokes open by squeaking out a narrow win against Oregon State in Corvallis, setting off a wave of mild panic in Stillwater. They beat McNeese State easily, but Gundy still hasn’t settled on a starting quarterback. Now OSU has a two-QB system headed into week three.

This is where the wheels begin to fall off.

Mike Gundy takes his two-QB system down State Highway 51 where former Baylor star player Zach Smith and his laser rocket arm are waiting like a rottweiler who finally found a hole in the backyard fence. The Pokes lose to Tulsa for the first time since 1998.

Still with me?

OSU gets ran off the field against Texas. At this point, the season is entering a full-on tailspin. They only manage to find one win in the five-game stretch of K-State, Texas Tech, Baylor, Iowa State, and TCU.

Mike Gundy is now sitting at 3-6 and needs a miracle to even become bowl eligible. T. Boone Pickens is calling for heads.

Shhhh...y’all hear that? THAT’S LES MILES’ MUSIC.

The prodigal son returns to Stillwater, Pooka Williams runs for 315 yards against a hapless Cowboy defense, and Kansas wins on a bizarre fake field goal in overtime. Mike Gundy is promptly handed a pink slip before he can even make it back to the tunnel.

Interim Head Coach Sean Gleeson valiantly loses 73-17 to Oklahoma.

BONUS - Favorite tailgate Food and Drink: Brats and Bud Light, baby.